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Barry MacDonnell's
Toolbox for WordPerfect

Macros, tips, and templates for Corel® WordPerfect® for Windows®
© Copyright 1996-2022 by Barry MacDonnell. All Rights Reserved.

Page updated Feb 9, 2020

MULTISAV - Macros to help automate saving documents

Download MULTISAV.ZIP (07/18/13; 39,288 bytes; contains 3 macros and a "read me" file.)

Compatible with WordPerfect 8 and later versions

WordPerfect 11 users: See important information about using macros in the first release of WP11 ( at the top of this page.

Downloading instructions, documentation, modifications, and support

Also see these tips -

The "Period (Full Stop) - Plus - Save" trick

Third-party programs to automate back ups

See also "Automatically make backups of your document to help you recover your work"

Alternatives to the MULTISAV macros -

•  See the SaveCopy macro in the Library, which offers a way to save your currently opened file and simultaneously make an archive copy of it on another (alternate) drive using either the same relative directory (folder) name or a user-specified directory.

•  WordPerfect X7 now includes a macro similar to NewFN#.wcm, named Numbered Save.wcm.


Background and description

•  Do you need MultiSav?

It depends.

The WordPerfect program already has two built-in "Automatic save" options
that can be enabled in Tools, Settings, Files to help save your current work. (These perform separate functions from the macros in MultiSav.zip.)

One of these options will periodically and automatically save a temporary ("timed") copy of the current document when changes are made to it, which helps protect against power outages or crashes. (The program deletes this timed copy when you save and close the document in a normal fashion.)

Experts generally suggest enabling this first option.

The other option will automatically save a backup copy on disk of the current document whenever you deliberately save it — but just one backup version for each saved file. However, this doubles the number of such personal documents you save to disk.

Whether to enable this second option is a matter of personal preference.

See "Automatically make backups of your document to help you recover your work" for details on these two options.

•  MultiSave.zip file:  Function #1:

The MultiSave.zip file contains the NewFN#.wcm macro (explained below) which can make many separate, incrementally numbered backups — also known as versioning — whenever you play the macro while editing a document.

This is particularly helpful with long or richly formatted documents, since it might let you quickly recover work from a presumably "known good" earlier version of the document if something goes wrong with the current document.

[WordPerfect X7 now includes a similar macro, Numbered Save.wcm.]

•  MultiSave.zip file:  Function #2:

The MultiSave.zip file also contains two other macros: Period+Save.wcm and HRT+Save.wcm. They are designed to help you make frequent saves of the current document while you type by automating the File, Save process whenever you press the period (full stop) key — or, in the case of the HRt+Save macro, when you press a special key twice.

Note that these two macros do not make separate backups of the current document (unless you have also enabled the Save option in Tools, Settings, Files). They simply make more frequent saves of the current document. However, you can use either one with the NewFN# macro.

•  Some of the material below is informational e.g., the "Period(full stop)-plus-save" trick and while it might be worthwhile reading please be aware that you do not have to create the macros yourself. They are included in the Download MULTISAV.ZIP link in the left column, along with a Readme file.

(Instructions on downloading, extracting, and placement of these macro files is given in the Downloading instructions ... link in the left side column of this and every other macro page in the Library.)

•  You can assign a macro to a menu, toolbar, or keystroke combination ("shortcut key").

This makes it quick and easy to play. The Period+Save macro most likely should be assigned to the period (or "full stop") key — hence the name — as explained below (and in the Readme file included with the macros).

•  If you are not sure which macro is best for you, see "Which macro to use?" below.

•  If you need to make backup copies of the currently open document to another drive, see the SaveCopy macro.

The MultiSav.zip archive contains 3 separate macros
(Which macro to use? See below)

•  NewFN#.wcm ("New FileName with Number") (v1.03)

This macro saves the current file (in real time) with a new filename that has a numerical suffix appended to the root name (e.g., Myfile.wpd becomes Myfile001.wpd).

Subsequent playing of the macro increases the filename's suffix (e.g., Myfile002.wpd, Myfile003.wpd, etc.) each time the macro saves the file — even when used on that particular file in a future WordPerfect session.

Thus you can easily save your important work-in-progress with sequential versions, add unique numbers to the filenames of correspondence to the same recipient, etc.

How it works

If the current file is a new (unsaved) file, the macro asks you to add a numeric suffix (e.g., 001) to the filename, and then it saves the file.

If the current file has been previously saved with a numeric suffix (e.g., ClientXYZ-004.wpd), it increments the numeric (suffix) part of the filename and then it saves the file under the new name (e.g., ClientXYZ-005.wpd).

You can set the minimum length of the numeric suffix for the macro to use (and verify) in the redlined User Modification Area of the macro's code. See here for Instructions. The default is three digits, which allows creating up to 999 versions of the file.


¤  All new files made with the NewFN# macro are saved to the same folder as the previously edited/saved version of the file — the same way that WordPerfect treats its own automatic backup files — to prevent the possibility of accidentally overwriting a backup file (in a common backup folder) with another backup file of the same name.

¤  NewFN# is not automatic — you still must deliberately save the file.

However, to help boost productivity,
▸ you can use this macro along with the Period+Save macro to help automate its use (see "Which macro to use?" below)

    - or -

▸  like any macro, you can simply assign the macro to a keyboard shortcut, toolbar button, or menu choice (see here) and use it when desired.

¤  NewFN# cannot be used to save other macros (*.wcm) during macro editing. It is meant to make saved iterations of regular WordPerfect documents.

•  Period+Save.wcm ("Period plus Save") (v1.03)

When this macro is assigned to the period (full stop) key ("."), it will save the current file whenever you press the period key — unless the period follows a number, a space, or another period, or is inside a substructure. [In these cases the macro will not execute a save. See the expanded section below for why.]

Unlike NewFN#.wcm above, it does not change the current filename. It merely does the same thing as File, Save but it does it for you when you reach the end of a typical sentence. (As noted above, if you have also enabled the automatic save as a backup option in Tools, Settings, Files, then a new backup of the file will also be created each time.)

The normal functioning of the period (full stop) key is unaffected. Pressing that key when the macro is assigned to it will still type a period. It merely saves the file at the same time.


☼  See below for more information about this macro's technique. As noted there, it may be best to assign the macro to the period (.) key in a copy of your default keyboard. [See the step-by-step instructions in that section.]

☼  If you only need to use this macro for specific projects — i.e., you don't want to use it in every document — you can easily create a new, separate keyboard definition and toggle it on/off as needed. See the "Assigning Period+Save to the period key" section below.

☼  Related tip for advanced users: Kenneth Hobson posted a macro on WordPerfect Universe that saves after every five prresses of the period key. See here.

•  HRT+Save.wcm ("Hard Return plus Save") (v1.02)

This macro makes special use of the backslash key ("\") to enter a hard return and save the current file at the same time.

Unlike NewFN#.wcm above, it does not change the current filename. It simply saves the file the same as if you use File, Save. (As noted above, if you have also enabled the Save option in Tools, Settings, Files, then a new backup of the file will be created each time.)

Unlike Period+save.wcm, it is not completely "automatic": You must deliberately double-press the backslash key (after it has this macro assigned to the backslash key — easy to do!). This might be preferred by some users compared to a completely automatic process.

The normal functioning of the backslash key — i.e., one press of the "\" key followed by some other key press — is not affected. You must press this key twice for the macro to spring into action. Otherwise, you will simply type a single "\" into the document.


☼  You need to assign this macro to the "\" key. Then pressing the backslash key twice causes the macro to delete the backslashes, enter a hard return, and save the file. (Actually, any available key can be used; however, the backslash is normally located just above the Enter key, which makes it especially easy to use to enter a hard return and then save the file.)

☼  If you only need to use this macro for specific projects — i.e., you don't want to use it in every document — you can easily create a new, separate keyboard definition and toggle it on/off as needed. See here.

☼  You can also change the number of required backslashes in the macro code. (Just open the macro like any other WordPerfect document to view the comments and instructions at the top of the file.)

☼  For more on the general method for making a key do "double duty" by assigning a macro to it, see here.

[Download the 3 macros from the link in the left sidebar.]

Which macro to use?

[Note that you can use NewFn#.wcm in the same document with either Period+Save.wcm or HRt+Save.wcm.] 

•  NewFN#.wcm is not "automatic": It saves the current file only when you deliberately play the macro. (This is particularly easy to do if you assign the macro to a toolbar button next to the normal Save button, or to a File menu choice, or an available keyboard shortcut, as shown here.)

As noted above, if it is a new unsaved document it will ask you for a filename — one that has numbers appended to the root of the name (e.g., "MyFile001.wpd"). It then saves the document under the new (now numbered) filename, and it will use that numbered name to create new, incrementally numbered files each time you deliberately play the macro.

Unlike the other two macros it is not meant to simply save your document with the same file name. (You can do that yourself with File, Save or with either of the other two macros.) It is meant to create several intermediate versions of a file — "works in progress," so to speak — such as MyFile001.wpd, MyFile002.wpd, and so on.

This is handy when you want to save some sections of your original text as they were written, until the final draft of the document is written. Sometimes we realize later that we should have kept the saved material as part of the final document. "Versioning" can help you do that. [Of course, you can always clip the possibly unwanted sections to another document, using either cut-and-paste or something like the Clipper macro. But that other document should also be saved to disk as added insurance. A complete earlier version might be easier to understand your thoughts at the time.]

If you don't mind the extra files on disk — which can always be block-deleted in the future — the NewFN# macro might be very useful, depending on your needs and preferences.

•  Period+Save.wcm is "automatic" — if it is assigned to the period/full stop key (.) and if the file already has a name — and it will play whenever you deliberately type a period into the document, saving the document at the same time. [Note that it will not perform a save (but it still will type a period) if the period follows a number, a space, or another period; nor will it perform a save while the cursor is in a header, footer, footnote, endnote, text box, watermark, or other such substructure.]

If you are working on a new (i.e., originally blank) WPD document it will pop a message to let you know you should save the document; once saved, you should not see the message again in that document.

It always saves the document using the same filename and extension in effect at the time — the same as if you use File, Save on any named document.

It is meant to help you save the same document more frequently than you might do otherwise, helping avoid loss of text if you absently close the program without saving many hours of work — even if you have set the timed backup option (which, incidentally, works only to recover from an abnormal program termination, not for failing to obey warning messages about changed documents and the need to deliberately save or abandon those changes. See here for more on the timed backup feature).

A significant downside for some people is that when a document is saved without making a backup, the saved version might not be the "best" version. (Sometimes automation can have unintended consequences.) You can, however, use it along with the automatic save as a backup feature in WordPerfect, although this might slow things down slightly if the program needs to make a backup file as well as save the current file each time you press the period key.

If these downsides are important to you consider using the HRt+Save macro instead. With it you must deliberately press a key twice in succession (e.g., the backslash "\") before the macro will save the document.

[Note also that the Period+Save macro will not play while editing a macro (WCM) or template (WPT) document since it is doubtful you would want automatic saves when creating such files. This limitation can be changed in the macro's code.]

•  HRt+Save.wcm is somewhat "automatic" — if it is assigned to a key that can do "double duty" such as the backslash ("\") key.

(For the general procedure see Steps 2-4 below. The backslash key is further down the in list shown in Step 3, between the [square] bracket symbols.)

After assignment, press the key once and you get a backslash character. Press it twice in a row and the macro plays (instead of typing the character). It then creates a hard return (same as pressingthe Enter key) and saves the file.

In effect the assigned macro simply saves you a few keystrokes or having to use a mouse to save the file.

The "Period(full stop)-plus-save" trick
The rationale behind the Period+Save macro above (optional reading)

The following material in this section is optional. You only need to download the actual macro and assign it to the period (full stop) key as explained in the Related Tips section below. But if you have time, read on to understand how it works.

If you want to save your work with sufficient frequency to minimize any potential loss and you don't like the backslash-key macro (HR+Save) method above, you could force WordPerfect to save the current file as you type, without having to remember to press a special key, or click a toolbar button or menu item.

(As noted above there can be a downside to the method, but it can be toggled on and off as desired. More on this later.)

A logical point to trigger a save with a reasonable frequency is when you press the period ("full stop") key. You could do this by creating a simple macro and assigning it to the period key so that it plays immediately whenever you press the period key. The macro would type the period and immediately save the file — automatically. (If the file has not yet been saved, it will pop up the Save File dialog to allow you to name the file first.).

Here's a simple example of such a macro (don't create it; please read on):

Type (".")
FileSave ()

Finally, you could assign this simple macro to the period key on your default keyboard.

Note: To assign the macro to the period [full stop] key, when you are in the Keyboard Shortcuts dialog (as explained in the assign link and also below) you will need to check the box, "Allow assignment of character keys" to display normal keyboard characters; the period is just under the hyphen [-] and above the forward slash [/] in the list, for most keyboards.

Then every time you press the period key, the macro will play and type a period, then immediately save the file. If the file has not yet been saved, it will pop up the File Save dialog to allow you to name the file first.

With this example macro, the most you are likely to lose if you forget to save before closing a file is one sentence. Other than using the WordPerfect automatic backup feature (Tools, Settings, Files, Doucment tab, "Save original file as a backup..."), this is about as automated a periodic save as you will get with WordPerfect.

Note: Both methods — using an auto-save macro and WordPerfect's automatic backup feature — can be used together, if you wish. The WordPerfect automatic backup feature makes just one backup of the current file; however, this is a separate file from the current file, located in the same directory/folder but with a .BK! filename extension.

On the other hand, the "period-plus-save" method saves the same file over and over: no separate backup file is created (unless, of course, you have the automatic backup feature turned on).

However, the simple two-line macro above has some limitations (which are overcome in the download version):

It cannot tell if the cursor is located inside a "substructure" such as a dialog box — a place where File, Save will not work.

Also, it doesn't notice when you type ellipses ("..." or ". . ."), and it saves even when you are entering numerical data, which (slightly) slows such data entry.

Therefore, the two-line example macro above can be elaborated to

•  check if the period you want to type at the cursor location follows a digit, another period, or a space; and
check if the cursor is inside a a substructure.

In this case, if both conditions are true the macro would not save the file, thereby avoiding potential problems with saving and reducing any (very slight) slowdown in your work. If both conditions are false, the macro would proceed to save the file.

A macro (Period+Save.wcm) that does both these things is included as part of the MULTISAV.ZIP file on this page. Also this ready-to-use macro -

•  pops an information message (screen shot) in an unsaved or read-only document (just save the file once and continue editing);

•  does not auto-save the document when you are writing or editing a macro or a template (most macro writers probably do not want frequent auto-saves while they code a macro).

These two features can be changed with a simple setting in the macro's User Modification Area. (Just open the macro with Tools, Macro, Edit and look for that area.)

Assigning Period+Save to the period (.) key
(recommended reading)

It may be best to assign the Period+Save macro to the period (full stop) key in a copy of your default (or other) keyboard.

That is, instead of assigning the
Period+Save macro to the  keyboard you use all (or most) of the time — such as <WPWin Keyboard>, <WPDOS 6.1 Keyboard>, etc. — you can easily create a copy of that keyboard (or even the factory installed default keyboard) and use the copy when assigning this macro to the period key.

You can then use your mouse or a keystroke combination (see next paragraphs) to quickly toggle between keyboards, depending on whether or not you want to use the period-plus-save method to automate saving your files.

[While creating and using a copy of your favorite keyboard is not strictly necessary — you could simply edit your favorite keyboard and assign the macro to the period key there (as explained here and in the steps below) — it does have the advantage of not requiring you to remember how to remove the keyboard assignment at some distant date: You would simply stop using (or delete) the copied keyboard. A disadvantage is that you might need to maintain two customized keyboards if you wish them to contain the same future changes.]

Here's how to do it. (And once you have done it you should find it was easier to do than to explain!)

Step 1.  Make a copy of the desired keyboard.

Which keyboard to copy?

Unless you prefer to copy an existing user-customized keyboard, you can just copy the standard default WordPerfect for Windows keyboard, as in the example below.

It just depends on whether you want to have access to your previously user-customized keys ("shortcuts") along with the new macro-assigned key, or whether you want to start fresh with a new non-customized keyboard and assign the macro to the period key. [The latter method gives you a way to practice assigning a macro to a key. You can then delete the practice keyboard later.]

•  From the main WordPerfect menu click on Tools, Settings, Customize. The Customize Settings dialog below opens.

•  Click on the Keyboards tab if it's not already in use.

•  The highlighted keyboard in the "Available keyboards" list (as in the image below) is the currently selected (i.e., enabled) one. If it's not the one you wish to copy, click on the desired one to select it.

•  Click the Copy button.

The following images assume
you wish to copy the factory shipped default keyboard (<WPWin Keyboard>). Also, the images show the use of WordPerfect X7 [U.S. edition], but any WordPerfect for Windows version/edition should use the same steps:

Customize Setting dialog

•  The Copy Keyboard(s) dialog below opens.

•  The "Template to copy from" and "Template to copy to" list buttons (highlighted in the image below) should be set to the default template file for your version of WordPerfect — such as (e.g.) "wp17US" for the WordPerfect X7 U.S. edition.

•  Select (click on) the keyboard to copy and click on Copy. In our example you would click on <WPWin 7 Keyboard> for the factory shipped default Windows keyboard. (You can actually select more than one keyboard with <Ctrl+click> but for this example just select the one you wish to copy.)

Copy Keyboards dialog

•  The Copy/Rename Object dialog below opens.

•  Give the new keyboard a new name (e.g., <Auto-Save Keyboard>). [Since you chose to copy the keyboard into the same template (see dialog image above) you must give it a new name.]

Copy/Rename Objects dialog

•  Click OK to return to the Customize Settings dialog.

Step 2.
  Edit the new copy of the keyboard.

•  Back in the Customize Settings dialog (see image below), select (i.e., click on) the keyboard to which you want to assign the macro (here, the <Auto-Save Keyboard>) and then click Edit.

[Notice that when you select the new keyboard: (1) the name appears under the current template's filename (e.g., wp17US), and (2) a new button appears that lets you Delete the new keyboard when or if you no longer need it.]

Customize Settings dialog - Edit keyboard

•  The Keyboard Shortcuts dialog opens (left side shown below).

Step 3. 
Assign the macro to the period (full stop) key.

•  On the left side of the Keyboard Shortcut dialog:

(1) First check (tick) the box at the bottom of the dialog, "Allow assignment of character keys."

(2) Then scroll down to the period/full stop. For most keyboards it's just under the hyphen [-] and above the forward slash and numbers [/01234...] in the list).  Choose (click) it:
Keyboard Shortcuts fialog

•  On the right side of the Keyboard Shortcut dialog:

(1) First click on the Macros tab to choose it.

(2) Then click on the "Assign Macro to Key" button.

Keyboard Shortcuts dialog with Macros tab

The Select Macro window appears. [No image shown here since it is a normal operating system window.]

•  Select the Period+Save.wcm macro in the window in order to assign to the period key.

•  Click Close.

•  A small message appears (shown below) asking if you wish to save the macro with the full path (i.e., drive, folder, and filename) or just with the macro's filename.

Tip: There's no need to save it with the full path if the macro file is located in your default or supplemental macros directory/folder. WordPerfect will find it by name alone if it's in either of those locations. (This is also helpful if you relocate your macros to a different computer where the path to macros might be different than what was assigned originally. On the other hand you might need to use the full path if certain macros should always be located separately from the default or supplemental folders on your computer.)

Save macro dialog

•  Click the desired choice, Yes or No (suggested).

Step 4.

•  Click OK/Close on the Keyboard Shortcuts dialog until you are back at the main document screen.

Step 5.

•  Then, to switch keyboards:
either -
Right-click the Status Bar (the very bottom of the WP window that shows the names of currently opened documents) and choose Settings. When the Settings dialog appears, check the box, "Keyboard," then click OK. You can then click the keyboard icon that appears on the Status bar to select the desired keyboard.
or -
Create two simple macros. Using them will require three fewer mouse clicks to change keyboards than the method above.

[This second method is almost as easy to set up. First create two macros (which are recordable with Tools, Macro, Record), then assign them to toolbar buttons or keystrokes — one macro to select the new keyboard and one to select your default keyboard. That way, you can use your mouse or a keystroke combination to quickly toggle between keyboards, depending on whether or not you want to use the period-plus-save feature.]

You can now use your mouse or a keystroke combination to quickly toggle between keyboards, depending on whether or not you want to use the period-plus-save method of automating the saving of your files.

Sidebar: For those who use the commercial utility As-U-Type:

The macro doens't work properly with the As-U-Type spell check and speed typing program, when a period follows a word that is in As-U-Type's Correction Database. If you use As-U-Type, just toggle it off temporarily with <LeftShift+RightShift>. Or use this tip from the author of As-U-Type:

'...To fix [this], please ... remove the period from As-U-Type's expander characters set: Right click the program's running icon and choose the "Options..." command. Then click the "Others" item on the left, and remove the period from the "Expanders" box on the right. (The Expanders box contains all characters which trigger expansion). Of course after removing the period from the box, As-U-Type no longer expands text when you type the period (so "admin." still stays as "admin.", while "admin," continues to be expanded to "administration,")....'

For more on As-U-Type — which is otherwise an excellent program — see http://www.asutype.com/.

Third-party software to automate making backups

If you need real-time, automatic, or sequential backups of designated types of files, see the (fairly short) list of third party backup software programs at the bottom of this page: Automatically make backups of your document to help you recover your work.

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